A huge thanks to Becci from everyone at T1International for all her hard work during her time as an intern.
I began my internship with T1International in February of 2018, to run alongside my university studies. I was interested in the charity when the opportunity arose despite not having type 1 diabetes myself. I have people in my family and friends who live with the condition, and I knew the basics about it through casual conversations, as well as from some minimal education about the condition when I was younger. However, I was unaware of the extent to which access is an issue for so many people across the globe.
Through multiple background reading tasks about access to insulin, as well as reading news articles and the T1International website, I was surprised at what I learned. I have lived in the UK all my life, so I have been used to free health care, especially for those with type 1 diabetes who receive their insulin and diabetes supplies at no cost. Due to this, I was completely unaware and ignorant in a way to the other countries across the world with thousands of people struggling to live without their vital medicine. Even in places like North America, I was astounded by the amount of people that struggle – or even die – due to not being able to afford their insulin to stabilize their blood sugar. In less developed countries I learned about the lack of experienced doctors with knowledge of the condition.
During my time interning with T1International I increased my knowledge of type 1 diabetes, but also my skills to take into the workplace. Due to the size of the charity I worked from home, working on small projects for Elizabeth, the founder. This meant I got the chance to work on my time management and balancing various aspects of my life, having to mix the internship in with my part time job, lectures, university assignments and exams. I did have some challenges due to the internship taking place in my most work heavy semester, but I ultimately managed to get the projects finished.
There were some projects that took me a fair amount longer than the others, but this allowed me to work on autonomous working and persistence. Rather than turning to someone straight away for help if I didn’t understand something, I took the time to practice and learn. Working on my own really helped me take charge and make the project my own, whereas in the past, I would get someone to help me, and inevitably not all the work would be my own.
The internship has really opened my eyes regarding working with a charity, seeing as I am still unsure as to where I want my life to lead after graduating university next year. I hadn’t really had much experience of a charity before, so this internship allowed me to see how a smaller charity operates, and truly the significant impact it can make on the world.
In this instance I was glad to get to know all the advocacy that T1International carries out for and with people with type 1 diabetes. Working with T1International and seeing the good they can do through their social media accounts alone has proven to be really inspiring. It was great to see how one charity, through all its projects, can make such a step towards a better life for those with type 1 diabetes.
I very much believe that T1International is a charity that should be supported by more and more people across the globe, especially by those without diabetes, as it is an incredible cause. People with type 1 diabetes may be aware of the charity, but as someone without, I wasn’t even aware of the problems surrounding the condition. Although some people could find it easy to avoid the issue because they don’t have to experience it, we all know someone with a health condition who needs access to medicine, and most of us probably know someone with diabetes.
So why not take some time to browse the T1I website and familiarise yourself with some of the problems people across the world are facing? You’ll be inspired by what T1International is doing to change things and may even want to get involved, like I did.